I was on the edge of my seat this weekend watching the Patriots and Colts grudge match, and of course, I was pleased that my Patriots won 34-27. At one point, though, the Patriots were down 21-20 and finally scored another second half touchdown to make it 27-21. Then, thanks to the now infamous “dumbest play in NFL history,” the momentum shifted even further after the Patriots were granted excellent field position and an easy touchdown.
The “dumbest play in history” was a fake punt that seemed to defy all laws of the reason, not to mention the rules of the NFL. Even if the play had succeeded, it wouldn’t have worked because the refs blew it dead afterwards as an illegal line formation.
According to Indianapolis Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano, the ball was not supposed to be snapped at all. The play was designed to pull a player offsides and force a penalty. If that didn’t happen, the Colts would take a five yard penalty for a delay of game and punt it away anyway on the next play. However, the Patriots aren’t prone to such elementary theatrics since their coach wrote the book on deceptive plays.
Instead, to the delight of Patriots fans and color commentators everywhere, the ball was snapped improperly, leaving one lineman to defend the runner from five unguarded Patriots.
So many football terms, I know. Bare with me here if you don’t speak the language. Instead, go ahead and enjoy this remake of the moment from Tecmo Super Bowl to get a better idea of just how dumb this play really was.
However, in Madden, such a dumb play can’t be created or used with Pagano’s original intent. There is no command for an AI or a gamer to realign that many players on the line of scrimmage with and no way to audible on a special teams play. In other words, there is no useful way to make this play work. It is totally pointless.
Despite that, Designer Clint Oldenburg stated on Twitter that he wants to use the play in “Madden Ultimate Team,” a mode which recreates some of the best, and worst, plays in football history.
@owengood I can't let MUT steal the gameplay thunder. Putting that formation (and play) in Colts playbook ASAP
— Clint Oldenburg (@ClintOldenburg) October 19, 2015
Thanks a lot to Chuck Pagano, who took full responsibility for this silliness, for handing the game to the Patriots and giving me a reason to write about football, something I don’t get to do so often.